SAS Celebrity: Who Dares Wins Winner Gareth Gates says he was the victim of “constant bullying and verbal abuse” while on a cruise ship.
The former Pop Idol boss said three female passengers made fun of his speech impediment while he was working on a P&O Cruise. He told his 117,000 followers on Instagram that the women, who were stopped alongside him, started singing mockingly about David Bowie’s Hit Changes before they played his name.
He told followers that he decided to make an Instagram video sharing the details of his encounter to raise awareness about bullying and encourage others to stand up.
Gareth said: “Every time we’ve been out on our balcony he’s just been constantly verbally abused. They started singing the David Bowie song changes and then it’s on to GGG-Gareth Gates and just got worse and worse.
You know, I’m more than used to this, I can handle it. And at first I was like no, let’s not leave it, but it’s three days straight.”
Gareth explained that three women were giving him the comments, all of them the same age as his own mother. He continued: “If it was three men I would go round and say ‘look, is there a problem’.
“But I could barely get around there myself because it’s three women, so after a while my other half said ‘look, I’ve had enough of this’ and so she went around and she politely asked them to stop.”
Gareth said the three women eventually stopped commenting on him. He concluded: “If we stand up to bullying, it can stop.
“I’m the first person to take the Mick out of my speech but if you know the person you’re taking the Mick from can hear, it takes a completely different person.”
The singer met with plenty of support from fans and other famous faces. Former model Danielle Lloyd said: “Shame on them Gareth for someone so strong and amazing.”
Will Mellor, star of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, said: “Some people feel the need to do this to highlight how sad they are! Glad your partner said something. Enjoy the rest of your vacation friend.”
Singer Becky Hill added: “You should play your wife for walking past politely and ask them to stop … I wouldn’t be so nice.”
In a later post, Gareth said the women were told to behave by P&O bosses on the ship. He and his partner Allana Taylor were then moved from the trio.
He added: “I can’t wait to be back on Arvia in January. But in the meantime I’ll be joining his other ship Iona next week; where I’ll be adding a brand new song to my set; David Bowies ‘Ch. -ch-ch Changes'”
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